Team

Board of directors


With more than 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Russell Greig has a solid expertise in research and development, business development and commercial operations.
Dr Russell Greig worked at GlaxoSmithKline for three decades, most recently as President of SR One, GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate venture group. Prior to joining SR One, he served as President of GlaxoSmithKline’s Pharmaceuticals International from 2003 to 2008 as well as serving on the GlaxoSmithKline corporate executive team.
Currently, Dr Russell Greig serves as Chairman of Ablynx (Belgium), and of both AM Pharma and Mint Solutions in the Netherlands, eTheRNA in Belgium, and Sanifit in Spain.
He was previously Chairman of Isconova in Sweden (acquired by Novavax, United States), Novagali in France (acquired by Santen, Japan), Syntaxin in the United Kingdom (acquired by Ipsen, France) and Onxeo Pharma (previously BioAlliance Pharma) in France, and a venture partner at Kurma Partners (Paris, France). Finally, Dr Russell Greig was also a member of the Scottish Scientific Advisory Committee, reporting to the First Minister of Scotland.


Thierry LAUGEL co-founded Kurma Partners in 2009 after leaving AGF Private Equity. He has more than 25 years of experience in Life Sciences, both in Venture and in Industry, and is a PharmD, PhD and MBA.
Thierry started his career in 1992 as R&D Project Manager for Laboratoires Fournier in Tokyo for four years.
After his graduation at INSEAD in 1996, he joined Flamel Technologies, just after its successful listing on Nasdaq, and managed the development-stage portfolio of the company.
In 1998, he moved to investments, first at Caisse des Dépots (CDC), then at AGF Private Equity (Allianz Group), where he supervised the healthcare investment team. Thierry has led investments in more than 25 companies like Actelion, Arpida, Targacept, Adocia, Auris or Erytech.
He is currently a Board Member of Horama, Safe Orthopaedics, Minoryx, Blink Biomedical, Talix, Meiogenix, Pathoquest and Asarina Pharma.


Dr. Philippe MONTEYNE MD, PhD is a Partner at the VC Fund+ in Belgium. Fund+ is an open ended Fund for long term equity investments in innovative life sciences companies with a focus on Belgium. The fund wants to create sustainable shareholders’ value, contribute to the development of a leadership position of the Life Sciences sector and generate a tangible, beneficial societal impact.
Dr. Monteyne has held senior positions in SmithKline Beecham, GSK, and Sanofi. He served as the Head of Global Vaccine Development at GSK for several years, and then served as Senior VP-Head of Development and CMO at GSK Rare Diseases from 2010 to 2012.
More recently, he served as Vice President R&D France at Sanofi until early 2015. During that period, he was also Board Member of SARD (Sanofi Aventis R&D), of the LEEM (Pharmaceutical association in France "Les Entreprises du Médicament"), of the Technological Research Institute (IRT) Bioaster in Lyon, and of the « Fondation Plan Alzheimer France ».
He is a Director of different Biotech companies, in Belgium, France and Spain. Dr. Monteyne was also visiting Professor of Neurology at the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain), Brussels. He holds an M.D. degree in 1989 and Ph.D. in Viral Immunology in 1995, both at the UCL, is a fully trained Neurologist, and has also been trained in Neuro-Immunology at Pasteur Institute in Paris.


Ohad HAMMER is a Partner at Pontifax, where he is in charge of scouting and project evaluation. In his role at Pontifax, Ohad is also involved in the formation and development strategy of the fund’s early-stage portfolio companies. He serves as a director in Metabomed, Pi Therapeutics, Keros Therapeutics, Eyevensys and TargEDys. Ohad obtained his M.S. in Biology from Tel-Aviv University


Claire POULARD joined Omnes Capital’ Life Sciences Venture Team in 2015. She began her career in research at the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology. Claire Poulard holds a Specialized Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Management and Biotechnology from ESCP and a Master in Bioengineering and Neuroscience Innovation from ESPCI (École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle).


Philippe MOULLIER, Viral vectors expert, is a founder of HORAMA and was recruited in January 2017 as chief scientific officer (CSO). He previously served as research director at INSERM (UMR1089) and in 1996 founded the Institute for Gene Therapy at Nantes University Hospital (France), which he directed until 2016. Philippe is a world-renowned expert in viral vector development and in gene therapy translational research. He has served as an expert consultant to French (ANSM) and European (EMA) regulatory bodies, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Florida (USA) from 2006 through 2015. He has published over 120 original publications in the field of gene therapy and genetics.


Christine PLACET joined HORAMA as CEO in early 2016. She previously served as CFO at Trophos from to 2004 until 2012, when she became CEO. During this time Trophos developed an innovative medicinal product for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, a rare and currently incurable disease. After obtaining promising results in a Phase II/III trial, the company was bought by Roche Pharmaceuticals in early 2015. Before moving to Trophos, Christine acquired over 18 years of experience in finance and business management, working for 8 years at Ernst & Young, and subsequently as CFO in several growing companies and start-ups in various industries. Christine graduated from Kedge Business School.


Observers

In 2013 Leila NICOLAS joined GO Capital (Rennes, France), a seed and early-stage venture capital firm investing in innovative technology companies based in the west of France. She is the head of life sciences investments at GO Capital. Leila serves on the board of directors of several innovative biotech and healthcare companies including Horama, Atlanthera, Carlina Technologies, Tricares, iSEP, Celenys, and VitamFero, and is a board member of the energy storage company Kemwatt. Leila NICOLAS has previously held several positions in Marketing and Business Development within healthcare and life sciences companies and start-ups, including Bayer Schering Pharma, Polyplus-transfection, and Kudzu Science. Leila holds a Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Bordeaux and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the IAE (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises), Lille, France.


Mounia CHAOUI is a general partner at Turenne Capital since 2013, where she is responsible for growth/buyout capital in the healthcare sector. Mounia has previously worked as a life science investor with Ventech, INSERM Transfert Initiative, and Atlas Venture. She is a board member of several companies that have been acquired (e.g., Biovex, sold to Amgen for up to $1B) or have gone public on NASDAQ or Euronext (e.g., Tigenix). Mounia holds a PhD in Biophysics and a degree in Engineering from Ecole Centrale, Paris.


Founders

Philippe MOULLIER, viral vectors expert, is a founder of HORAMA and was recruited in January 2017 as chief scientific officer (CSO). He previously served as research director at INSERM (UMR1089) and in 1996 founded the Institute for Gene Therapy at Nantes University Hospital (France), which he directed until 2016. Philippe is a world-renowned expert in viral vector development and in gene therapy translational research. He has served as an expert consultant to French (ANSM) and European (EMA) regulatory bodies, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Florida (USA) from 2006 through 2015. He has published over 120 original publications in the field of gene therapy and genetics.


Christian HAMEL (1955-2017) was a Professor at the University Medical School of Montpellier and an ophthalmologist at the University Hospital of Montpellier (France). At the Neurosciences Institute of Montpellier (UMR1051), he headed the “Genetics and therapy for retinal and optic nerve blindness” team. His research seeks to identify the causative genes in inherited eye diseases and to develop novel treatments. He was the head of the Reference Centre for Genetic Sensory Diseases at Montpellier Hospital. He discovered the RPE65 gene and its protein product (RPE65), and identified the link between RPE65 mutations and congenital blindness. Christian was the founding president of the Francophone Society of Ophthalmological Genetics (SGOF). He served as an ophthalmology expert on the review board of the French Biomedicines Agency and a member of several committees world-wide that oversee the coordination of retinal gene therapy trials. He has published over 170 original publications. Graduated PhD in Neurosciences from the University Montpellier 1 and MD from University Paris XI.


Michel WEBER is a Professor at Nantes University (France) and head of the ophthalmology clinic at the Nantes University Hospital since 2001. Professor Weber is a vitreo-retinal surgeon with a wealth of experience in subretinal administration of gene therapy products. In 2000, he created a clinical research team (CIC, Centre for Clinical Investigation) at Nantes University Hospital. Michel is a member of the French Society of Ophthalmology (SFO) and ex-president of the Francophone Society of Retinal Specialists. He is the author of over 60 original publications. He graduated MD and PhD from the University of Strasbourg.


Guylène LE MEUR is a lecturer at Nantes University and a practitioner at Nantes University Hospital specialised in paediatric ophthalmology and inherited eye diseases. She has experience in both nonclinical and clinical gene therapy trials. Guylène is a member of the French Society of Ophthalmology (SFO), and a board member of the French Association of Strabology, the Francophone Association of Strabology and Pediatric Ophthalmology (AFSOP), the French Retinopathy in Premature Infants study group (GEFROP), and the Francophone Society of Ophthalmological Genetics (SGOF). She is also a member of the scientific board of Retina France. Guylène has authored over 15 original publications.


Vasiliki KALATZIS is a senior scientific researcher in Prof. Hamel’s team at the Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier (INM), where she leads a group working on innovative therapies for retinal diseases. Vasiliki is a molecular biologist with broad experience in gene therapy. Her research focuses on the development of human cell models of retinal diseases, using stem cells generated from patients, for non-clinical gene therapy experiments. She was the organiser of the first international scientific symposium on choroideremia (Sommieres, France) in 2011 and co-organiser of the Vision Beyond the Genome International Conference (Montpellier, France) in 2016. She is the main inventor on the patent “Methods and pharmaceutical compositions for expressing a polynucleotide of interest in a patient’s retinal pigment epithelium (WO/2015/082690)”. She is the scientific director of the stem cell and differentiation platform of the INM and has authored over 50 publications in the fields of human genetic diseases and gene therapy. Graduated PhD from the University of Paris.


Denis CAYET founded Horama in 2014 and oversaw the growth of the HORAMA project up until 2016. He is an entrepreneur with vast experience in enterprise creation. He founded and successfully directed multiple companies in the postal sector (J+1, DIRECT, PRESTISSIMO, IMX). In 2009, he founded the Federation of Alternative Postal Actors (FAPA), which he directed until 2012. Building off his experience in the biomedical sector acquired since 2006 (via Théravectys), in 2012 he created the Stargardt foundation, dedicated to promoting and funding research into Stargardt disease. In 2017, he created the company VARIANT to develop treatments for very rare retinal dystrophies linked to the CRX gene.

Management Team

Christine PLACET joined HORAMA as CEO in early 2016. She previously served as CFO at Trophos from to 2004 until 2012, when she became CEO. During this time Trophos developed an innovative medicinal product for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, a rare and currently incurable disease. After obtaining promising results in a Phase II/III trial, the company was bought by Roche Pharmaceuticals in early 2015. Before moving to Trophos, Christine acquired over 18 years of experience in finance and business management, working for 8 years at Ernst & Young, and subsequently as CFO in several growing companies and start-ups in various industries. Christine graduated from Kedge Business School.


Jean-Yves DESLANDES joined HORAMA in April 2017 as CMO. He has over 25 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in ophthalmology and ocular gene therapy. His past positions include Expert Clinical Project Lead at Alcon/Novartis, Director of Clinical Research at Sanofi-Fovea, and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at Allergan Europe. He has a degree in medicine from the University of Paris VII.


Séverine MARCONI joined HORAMA in 2014. Séverine has abundant experience in both orphan conditions and in regulatory affairs, in which she specialised during her 5 years at Voisin Consulting Life Sciences. She holds an engineering degree in biology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.


Nicole BRUMENT was a BioProcess Engineer at INSERM UMR1089 for 18 years managing the development of production process for viral vectors, especially for AAV. She was fully involved in the early development phase of Horama lead products, for process design (2 processes patented) as well as for GMP manufacturing. She also worked one year in Florida Biologix, USA – now BrammerBio.

She started her career in pharmaceutical industry (GSK) in cardiovascular research.  She obtained from the University of Paris a MSc and as Master degree.


Jérôme VAILLAND has 15 years of experience in audit, management, and transactions, and joined HORAMA CFO in November 2016. He began his career as a Financial Controller at Bouygues Telecom, and was subsequently hired as a Senior Manager by Ernst & Young, where he worked for 11 years in the fields of financial auditing, transaction advisory services, and IPO services, mainly in the life sciences industry, in addition to his managerial duties (team management, business development, recruitment, etc.). Jérôme is a graduate of Audencia-Nantes, where he majored in audit-financial control.